Two electric goals against Buffalo on Monday gave Hossa three for the season, to go along with two assists.
“Sometimes you go through stretches where the puck is going in for you and sometimes you go through stretches where it doesn’t,” a humble Hossa said after the game. “You just have to shoot the puck at the net and make some plays.”
Hossa’s first goal was highlight-reel worthy. Standing at the Sabres’ blue line near one side of the boards, he received a pass from Bryan Bickell and took off alone on Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller. He wound up for a full slapper but faked it, coming back with what he called a “half-wrist, half-slap shot.” The sequence fooled Miller and the Hawks took their first lead of the game, 3-2. Hossa added an unassisted goal later in the third period, which turned out to be the game-winner.
So why the pinpoint passing and shooting right now?
“I feel more relaxed obviously,” Hossa said. “You know, summer break and winning the Stanley Cup definitely helped but playing with great players helps, too.”
His teammates would say the same about him.
“Hossa was big again for us tonight,” Jonathan Toews said. “We want him to keep playing that way.”
Kane scores at home
Patrick Kane added an extra move or two during his goal celebration after scoring in the first period. It was directed towards some in the crowd.
“I shouldn’t be telling you this but [it’s] a dance me and my buddies did over the summer so that’s why I did it,” Kane joked.
Boynton a star
Nick Boynton stepped up big time after the loss of Niklas Hjalmarsson (game misconduct) in the first period. He played 23 minutes and had an assist, finishing plus-two. He was also voted third star of the game. When asked when the last time he was a star of the game, Boynton didn’t hesitate:
“During the lockout, in London,” Boynton quipped.
Boynton played the 2004-2005 season for the Nottingham Panthers in London, England.
Nick Leddy scored his first NHL goal in the second period. There was some doubt if it hit anyone on the way in.
“At first I thought it was [Tomas Kopecky] but Toews was down there too. Someone tipped it in.”
It actually went off the skate of Sabres defenseman Shaone Morrison and into the net. Toews immediately retrieved the puck for the 19-year-old rookie.